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5 Sustainable Wedding Flower Ideas

Updated: Jun 24

Choosing a sustainable floral designer can drastically reduce the overall footprint of your wedding. Making eco friendly choices can open up all kinds of beautiful possibilities you may not have considered. Learn how with our guide to 5 sustainable wedding flower ideas.

Choose locally grown

Although little reported, the carbon footprint of imported varieties can be ten times that of British grown flowers. And better still local outdoor grown flowers free of pesticides have around 5% the carbon footprint of imported equivalents.

And many imported flowers also use levels and types of pesticides not allowed in the EU, affecting the health of workers, local communities and local biodiversity.

Although making a sustainable choice is often represented as a sacrifice, with flowers it is quite the opposite. Many unusual varieties of flowers available from local growers are not available at imported flower markets. We recommend deciding on colours or general feel and allowing your florist to guide you in all the beautiful, little known varieties available for your date. Or if you have a favourite flower consider checking when they are available in your area before picking a date. Here for a reception at Rathfinny Vineyard tables were adorned with delicate, sculptural arrangements of passion flower, tagetes and gaura, none of which are available as imported flowers.

Ikebana style table flowers arranged in bowls with passion flowers

Photography by Jacqui McSweeney

Go Foam Free

Floral foam is a relatively recent invention from 1954 and widely used in the wedding industry from installations to table flowers. It is a single use plastic whose environmental impact spans from contaminating water sources with micro plastics to evidence of carcinogenic properties with regular use. Asking your floral designer for a greener alternative helps to raise awareness and change practices as the industry slowly turns away from its use.

Although foam design is sadly still taught at many florist colleges there are many green alternatives, in fact the use of floral foam is actually quite limiting in terms of design style and possibilities. Foam based designs involve a large area that needs to be concealed, thus creating more dense and blocky arrangements. And many designs are not possible with floral foam.

Here we created a wall installation for a wedding reception at St Johns Restaurant using small concealed water tubes allowing the design to appear delicate and ethereal.

Flowers and vines decorate the wall of a resteraunt

Photography by Dan McCourt

Consider living trees

For a big impact with very little carbon footprint tree hire is a wonderful choice. The effect of a tree in an indoor environment totally alters the architecture of a space. Unlike houseplants native trees directly connect the space to the environment outside. Ask for your floral designer to hire from a local supplier to cut down on the impact of transport.

Here guests dined amongst beech trees echoing the landscape beyond.

Beech trees surround a long table in a tent overlooking vineyards

Avoid plastic

Whilst imported flowers are wrapped in copious amounts of non recyclable plastic, another benefit of working with a floral designer who sources their flowers from a local grower is that most will deliver them in reusable buckets without wrap. They will have been picked that same morning so there is no need for packaging. At Flower and Branch we are a little obsessive about plastic, even collecting and reusing bubblewrap for transport. It is also worth thinking of small details, check your ceremony flowers will be ribboned in silk rather than synthetic fabric.

To summarise choosing a floral designer who will work with a local grower and use sustainable practices isn't only an eco-friendly choice but could make your day that much more beautiful, unique and grounded in the seasons. Each year the same flowers and trees used in your wedding designs will appear in local landscapes, parks and gardens, poetic symbols of your anniversary.

Do get in touch if you have an upcoming wedding in or around London. Flower and Branch can even arrange for flowers to be grown especially for your day.


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